(Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Meme from the Two Worlds

So we got tagged. The You are What you Eat meme has been doing the rounds of the food blogsphere for a while now, and came to us by way of the funny Doc of Gluttony is No Sin (sheesh, can you believe a doc advocating that!!!) and the lovely Lulu of Lulu Loves Manhattan (soon to be London). When both of them tagged Sury, she decided since this is a joint blog, it was only natural that the meme should be a joint exercise as well. So Cesar and Sury got down jogging their food memory cells. Here are the delish results:

Cesar’s Top 10 Favourite Foods:

1. xBerry cheesecake (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry): Nothing like a nice big slice of fresh berry cheesecake. Any berry will do form me. I learnt to appreciate this dessert in my adulthood. Funny, when I was a kid I always wondered what “cheesecake” was all about. I tried it finally and now I can’t have enough.

2. Shrimp Spaghetti!!!!!
Ran into this one in a little seafood restaurant I usually attend with my family. Being a pasta lover my aunt recommended I try one of the spaghetti dishes. Reluctantly I did and now it’s the only thing I eat when I go there. Delicious spaghetti with a generous amount of warm thick shrimp sauce. Mouthwatering even as I type.

3. Pizza (with pineapple or with meat): Yep, fast food junkie here. Well not that much these days but a nice Hawaian Pizza is always well received. We usually go to Pizza Hut on Saturdays after grocery shopping and enjoy one of these. Been a while for me. Can’t wait to have one.

4. Wantan: A crispy delight from our Chifa cuisine. Chifa is the offspring of Chinese food blending with Criollan food here in Lima, Peru. Wantan is a square of pasta dough with pork in the center, folded like a handkerchief and deep fried. With sweet sauce or in Kam Lu Wantan, it’s a vice.

5. Chaufa Rice: Another dish from the Chifa cuisine. You can’t have chifa without at least a little bowl of Chaufa Rice.

6. Trout: This is one of my favorite homemade dishes. Grilled trouts with a parsley and garlic sauce. Perfect for a quiet Sunday afternoon at home.

7. Chicha: Yep. I live in Lima and here nothing is more refreshing than a large glass of cold Chicha. And if there’s some mazamorra beside it, even better.

8. Panetón: Xmas times is here and traditions here are as strong as in the rest of the world. We don’t usually have dinner here at midnight as most families do, since we are just two. However we do get together for some hot chocolate, some cookies and cake and of course, a few slices of our delicious Paneton (Italian fruitcake) with a generous spread of butter.

9. Anticuchos:
You can place your bets and see how many of these you can have on one go. I’ve lost count. Delicious blocks of beef heart on a stick, with spicy sauce. Typical Peruvian food at it’s best. Come to Barranco in the city of Lima and taste some of the best.

10. Tequeños:
Appetizer anyone? Grab the guacamole and dive into these delicious cheese-filled sticks made with the same dough used to make wantan. Excellent while waiting for the main course.

Sury’s Top 10 Favourite Foods:

1. Fish: Regular readers of this blog would know my fish fetish. As a Bengali I have done my community proud at least in this respect—relishing my fish. I love fish in any form, fried, in curry or steamed. Oh, and I prefer freshwater fish to sea fish, probably because I grew up eating the former more. Of all the varieties Bengalis eat, I love Hilsa the most. Easily the king of the fish community, Hilsa when steamed in mustard sauce is a delight I couldn’t ever resist.

2. Biryani & Kabab: A non-vegetarian Indian has to have this on her list, no? The enticing aroma of Biryani and the heavenly taste of the best of kababs like Galawati, which melt in your mouth—this is my idea of a grand lunch or dinner. For me, the Biryani should be just as the masters devised it—fragrant fine rice with tender chunks of meat served steaming hot into your plate. Simply majestic.

3. Chaat: You can probably gauge my love of chaat from the title of this blog, eh? Yes, I make no bones about the fact that I devour chaat. Golgappa is my favourite, followed by sev puri and aloo chaat. Delhi has some delectable chaat-serving places, and if I only had to love the city for this one reason, I would. Incidentally, I also like the Bengali version of golgappa called “phuchka”—it’s a different take on the snack alright, but tickles the taste buds just as good.

4. Chettinad chicken with appam:
I got introduced to this wonderful combination when a friend I was visiting in Mumbai took me to a South Indian restaurant there. Till then, I had no idea that there were any meat preparations from down south (yes, you can beat my ignorant self for that), since we always had idly, dosas and utthapams in South Indian restaurants. So I can’t thank my Mumbai friend enough for introducing me to this awesome chicken dish…and to appam. This has to rank as one of my all-time favourite foods.

5. Luchi with anything:
I sinfully love luchi. This is a fried soft flour pancake; much like puris, except only white flour or maida (and no atta) is used for this. It’s a delicacy in Bengal, a must-to-serve item during special occasions and when guests are over. I can have luchi with just about anything—mutton curry, alur-dom (potato curried gravy), or even begun bhaja (fried eggplants). If you ever invite me for luchi, please forget to keep a count on how many you serve me. Because I invariably lose count while eating these. :P

6. Momo: I remember we were in college when a couple of our batch mates asked us to try these at one of the momo joints nearby. A group of us went to test out this strange-sounding food item and came back disappointed. Yes, we tried both the steamed and fried versions of momos (flour dumplings filled with minced chicken/mutton/pork) and didn’t like the taste of either. In fact, we bought some fresh cucumber for changing the bad taste. How and when this momo aversion got reversed, I don’t remember, but now it is something, I can never grow tired of. Hot steamed chicken or pork momos are my favourite, served with hot red chili sauce and steaming soup. Ahh, perfect for a winter day!

7. Eggs: In any form, except raw perhaps. This was my favourite food in my childhood days. I had a friend in school who got a boiled egg as part of her lunch every day and it was an unsaid pact between us that we would exchange our tiffin boxes during lunchtime. She was a generous soul that thought nothing of parting with her egg daily in lieu of my non-eggy (and thus boring for me) lunch. Hard boiled or soft, poached or omeletted, in curry or in egg rolls, this supremely versatile and lip-smacking food item ranks very highly in my scheme of things.

8. Orange: A small childhood episode made orange my favourite fruit forever. I was having a delicious apple offered by an aunt who came visiting us. A toddler then, I was enjoying every bit of my apple while prancing around the front porch, when my brother, a couple of years older to me, came by. Seeing me enjoy so merrily, he wanted an apple too, but sadly, aunt had given the last one she had to me. So just to pacify my on-the-brink-of-crying brother, my aunt gave him an orange. And would you believe, as he peeled that off to get the luscious fruit out, the smell captivated me for a lifetime. Every winter, I eagerly wait for this wonderful citrus to come to the markets and its refreshing scent and delightful taste always keep me craving for more.

9. Gulab jamoon/jalebi:
Incorrigibly sinful. That’s what I become when faced with the prospect of eating these two Indian sweets. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but hot gulab jamoons and jalebis served with thick, creamy rabri—these are surely not meant to be resisted or refrained from. Nah, not at all. And so I won’t, no matter what the weighing machine tells me!

10. Cheesecake: So yes, there’s something common in Sury and Cesar’s favourite food list. The first time I tasted cheesecake was when brother brought home a slice for me some years back. “But where is the cake in this?” I wondered as I dug into the creamy enigma. I have since graduated in my appreciation of cheesecakes and settled on blueberry as my favourite. Every bite a mesmerizing delight—to be savoured slowly and softly…I haven’t tasted raspberry yet, so that’s something Cesar can always treat me to. Hint, hint!

That then is our You are What you Eat meme. You now know what to organize for when inviting us, don’t you? Lol. Well, it was a whole lot of fun for us putting together this meme. Hope you liked it too :) Now, we have to tag five more foodie bloggers, so here we go: Jeanne of World on a Plate (our first food blogger friend), Marc of Mental Masala, Parna of Foodie’s Bar, Farid of Algerian Cuisine, and Prabir Ghose of Indian Sweets. Tell us about your favourite foods you all, we want to dig right in!

Cesar & Sury

4 comment(s):

hi sury and cesar
thanks for sharing your favourite foods. i enjoyed reading the post.
i am a huge BERRY fan as well but i like to enjoy them as is and not in any dessert.

By Anonymous Lulu, at 7:35 PM  

Interesting foods out there..we do share a few common fav foods like biryani,gulab jamuns,street food like chaat...:)
Btw,I am glad you enjoyed the methi kura pappu (methi dal) recipe,Sury.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

By Anonymous Sailu, at 10:44 PM  

After the celebration of christmas with all the food one can eat (i should get myself a membership in the gym in new year!), there's no surprise yet again, that i'm still hungry! I just love food so much... and your 20 food lists here, are not helping me lose a few pounds that i have now gained. Love your lists!!!

By Anonymous mae, at 6:47 PM  


Wow! Nice work! I really enjoyed the information in your blog! I am the webmaster for a non-profit project called Cookbookwiki.com. The site is a cooking wiki web site where anyone can add or edit content (like Wikipedia.com). Our mission statement which explains what we are trying to do is located here (please look):


I would LOVE to see some of your content in our wiki! We just started really working hard on the section on Indian Food and Culture. I could use some input and maybe some volunteers to help!

This week I have been hammering away on Indian Food as you can see:


As you can see, we have a start, but a really long way to go! I really want to document as much about Indian cooking as possible. And I am short on contributors! Please hear my cry for your assistance!

Thank you for your time and consideration, please contact me if you are interested in helping out!

Robert Eaton

By Anonymous Robert Eaton, at 10:04 PM  

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